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Throne of Glass

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Media type  Print (Hardcover)
Author  Sarah J. Maas
Publisher  Bloomsbury Publishing
Country  United States of America
4.2/5 Goodreads

Followed by  Crown of Midnight
Genre  Fantasy
Original language  English
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Published  August 2, 2012 (United Kingdom) August 7, 2012 (US)
Books  Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms
Similar  Sarah J Maas books, Assassins books, Fantasy books

Throne of Glass is a young adult high fantasy novel series by American author Sarah J. Maas, beginning with the inaugural entry of the same name. The story follows the journey of Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin in a corrupted kingdom with a tyrannical ruler. As the tale progresses, Celaena forms unexpected bonds and uncovers a conspiracy amidst her adventures. The series has appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. It has been optioned for a TV series by Mark Gordon and will premiere on Hulu.

Contents

Overview

Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothien, an 18-year-old assassin in the kingdom of Adarlan. After being imprisoned for a year by the king, she accepts his son's offer to compete with other assassins and thieves for a chance to serve as the king's champion, after four years of which, she would be granted freedom. This leads her to form unexpected bonds with Chaol, the captain of the guard, and Dorian, the crown prince of Adarlan. In time, Celaena is drawn into a conspiracy and a series of battles, leading to discoveries surrounding both the kingdom and herself.

Background

Sarah J. Maas has cited Disney's Cinderella as an inspiration for writing Throne of Glass. While viewing the scene in which the heroine flees the ball, Maas found the soundtrack "way too dark and intense". This led her to re-imagine a number of details. "The music fit much better when I imagined a thief—no, an assassin!—fleeing the palace," she said. "But who was she? Who had sent her to kill the prince? Who might the prince's enemies be? A powerful, corrupt empire, perhaps?"

Originally known as Queen of Glass, the story initially appeared on FictionPress.com. Bloomsbury acquired the novel in 2010, and purchased two additional Throne of Glass novels in 2012. Publicist Emma Bradshaw noted Maas' "huge online following, particularly in the US". Additionally, Throne of Glass became the first Bloomsbury children's novel to be featured on Netgalley.com, attracting requests "from all over the world." During the story's time on FictionPress.com, artist Kelly de Groot drew a map of the tale's world, Erilea, and shared it with Maas. Bloomsbury later hired de Groot to draw the map which appears in the opening novel.

Following its acquisition by Bloomsbury, the story went through a number of revisions prior to publication. Regarding the tale's development, Maas stated, "In the 10 years that I've been working on the series, Throne of Glass has become more of an original epic fantasy than a Cinderella retelling, but you can still find a few nods to the legend here and there."

Characters

In an interview prior to the series' debut, Maas discussed the process of creating her protagonist:

The story's teenage heroine, Celaena Sardothien, is introduced as an orphan who was raised and trained by an assassin. She is characterized as skilled, arrogant, and witty. While shaping her protagonist, Maas was inspired by the heroism of Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings, and by the characterization of Velma Kelly from Chicago. Maas has stated that the latter's "arrogance and fierceness made me want to write about a woman like her—about a woman who never once said sorry for being talented and determined and utterly in love with herself."

The author ultimately designed Celaena as a highly capable character whose talents also form a basis for numerous faults. In interviews preceding the series' release, Maas noted her heroine's issues with "impatience" and "vanity". She also suggested that Celaena would grow while adjusting to her new role. In addition to Celaena's skills as an assassin, Maas wanted the character to have several traits and hobbies befitting her age, including a fondness for "shopping, books, and fine dining", as well as a "penchant for getting into trouble."

In creating the friendship between Celaena and Chaol, Maas gave the characters a number of differences. As the story begins, Chaol is introduced as a strict and ethical captain, while Celaena is presented as a morally ambiguous assassin. According to the author, this contrast contributes to Chaol's character development as his bond with Celaena grows. Amidst their experiences, Chaol eventually comes to view her not just as a captive criminal, but also "as a human being." While writing the novel, Maas envisioned Chaol as a character who had "always seen the world in black and white," and concluded that "Celaena just throws a wrench in that."

Prince Dorian is presented as a suitor for Celaena as well. However, their relationship is complicated by his status as the crown prince.

Publicity

In anticipation of the series' debut, Bloomsbury released e-book editions of four prequel novellas—The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld, and The Assassin and the Empire—between January and July 2012. Throne of Glass was previewed by Publishers Weekly in February, while the book trailer premiered on MTV.com in May. Additionally, film option rights were acquired by Creative Artists Agency.

Reception

Throne of Glass has received generally positive reviews, making its debut on the New York Times Best Seller list with the release of the second novel, Crown of Midnight. A review from Publishers Weekly lauded the series' opening as a "strong debut novel." The review went on to state, "This is not cuddly romance, but neither is it grim. Celaena is trained to murder, yet she hasn’t lost her taste for pretty dresses or good books, and a gleam of optimism tinges her outlook. Maas tends toward overdescription, but the verve and freshness of the narration make for a thrilling read."

Kirkus stated, "A teenage assassin, a rebel princess, menacing gargoyles, supernatural portals and a glass castle prove to be as thrilling as they sound." With regard to the protagonist, Kirkus noted that "Celaena is still just a teenager trying to forge her way, giving the story timelessness. She might be in the throes of a bloodthirsty competition, but that doesn't mean she's not in turmoil over which tall, dark and handsomely titled man of the royal court should be her boyfriend—and which fancy gown she should wear to a costume party." The review concluded that the story's "commingling of comedy, brutality and fantasy evokes a rich alternate universe with a spitfire young woman as its brightest star."

Throne of Glass was named Amazon.com's "Best Book of the Month for Kids & Teens" in August 2012. Whitney Kate Sullivan of Romantic Times stated that "Maas' YA fantasy world is one of the most compelling that this reviewer has visited all year. The assassin heroine's growth and the multilayered secondary characters are amazing." Serena Chase of USA Today applauded the story's love triangle, and noted that "Maas excels at world building, spicing up this unusual take on the Cinderella story by injecting myths, fairy tales and religious traditions with the magic of a fresh and faulted world. Whereas many authors rely on geographic detail to build their worlds, Maas' environment is more politically driven and her characterizations are deftly drawn to support that sort of structure." Chase also commended Maas for creating "a truly remarkable heroine who doesn't sacrifice the grit that makes her real in order to do what's right in the end."

Television Adaptation

In September 2016, it was announced that the Throne of Glass series had been opted for a television adaptation produced by Hulu. The series is set to be titled "Queen of Shadows" with the Mark Gordon Company serving as the main project studio. The adaptation will be written by Kira Snyder (the 100) with the pilot potentially being directed by Anna Foerster (Underworld: Blood Wars).

References

Throne of Glass Wikipedia


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